Friday, November 28, 2008

Spreading the word and building community

There's a great string of commentary going on about VARDFORTWO over at The Canary Report. Susie writes:

"One our flock, Mokihana, has an article written about her amazing digs in Coming
, a blog dedicated to the small home movement, responsible financial
stewardship, and living greener. Mokihana, originally from Hawaii, now lives
in Washington state and is building a “vardo” or tiny, safe home on a trailer
bed so she can move when necessary to protect her health..."

Mahalo to Susie Collins for her skills, resources, network of followers, and especially her generous heart. Like a true 'coconut wireless' the word is really starting to spread. Click to read Susie's whole story then read the comments from other Canaries, and add your voice to the chirping going on over there.

Our vision for a community of tiny homes is the grand dream. The dream calls to others of like vision, courage, resources and a willingness to intentionally re-invent. Building "Intentional Community" is a lot of work and building one which meets the needs of individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities is an opportunity to transform the limits of the illness. We have two friends in Tahuya, Washington who have begun to intentionally make changes to their lives to include us. It's a lot of back-and-forth, give-and-take. When we began talking about sharing space and resources we did it with the best of intentions and an open heart, stated up front that it was not our intention to change them into people they were not...does that make sense? We'll introduce them sometime soon, and share the steps we're taking to begin building community.

Your dreams, your needs, your examples and your comments for a gentle on the Earth, safe for Canary lifestyle can make a difference. The first poll we posted here is pau (finished). The question was: "What are your feelings about tiny homes?" Eleven votes were cast. Here are the results:

2=I'm fascinated, in a good way

4=I'm curious, and envision living in one.

5=I'm living in one, or intend to build one/have one built for me

How do you feel about a tiny home community? Have you any experience with Intentional Community?


Susie Collins said...

Aloha Mokihana, I love this discussion.

Living in a hui can be very difficult, everybody knows that. Do you think that the commonality of MCS could be enough to bind a group together? Maybe, maybe not, but what I love about the vardo concept is that it's on *wheels*-- if a living situation didn't work, you could find another without giving up the actual home.

There are advantages and disadvantages to everything, but if a person had the right temperament and resourcefulness, I think this vardo concept has a lot of potential, including the basis of a community.

A hui hou,

VardoForTwo said...

Aloha Susie, This is the discussion I Pete and I have had for months. The potential for creating a hui of vardo or tiny homes is real. The inspiration for creating shared housing for folks with MCS comes from reading and examining California's ECOLOGY HOUSE project. It is probably 10 years(or more?)...I'll have to go back and look at that... old and offers such great touchstones of what 'works' and what 'could be done better.' The most important outcome in the summary notes was the recommendation that the units BE SEPARATE.

So, I think the vision of self-contained vardos owned and built (or built for)by people who share the commonality of MCS (which as we Canaries know, varies by 'bird' to 'bird)could be the basis for working toward a vardo village.

The "right temperament and resourcefulness" are critical factors because living in a small space frames that sort of view of Earth. It is so worth the time and effort to work through these thoughts.

Mobility is part of the solution that came to us after living diaspora for many years, and people like Jay Shaffer at Tumbleweed is an example of activism that inspires a version that resonates. Let's keep the discussion alive.

Mahalo for your comments. Mokihana

Erik said...

I'm working on a small portable home of my own.

Have you had much positive feedback on the portable home intentional community concept?

Mokihana and Pete said...

Hi Erik,

Welcome here. We have been in touch with one other tiny home builder who also lives with MCS. She has built a wonderful home in Bend, OR. We are looking to grow community together, and the place and time have just not yet come together.

She has a great website ... it's on our sidebar 'LESLIE'S' under the MCS RESOURCES.

Let us know how your building is going. It's always interesting and inspiring to share methods and for me even better to learn about philosophy behind the build.

Take care and thanks for your comments. Mokihana

Erik said...

Thank you, will check it out.

My recently restored blog is up at btw